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A BCA birthday by the numbers

Dec. 14, 2017

Composite photo showing four of the BCA's headquarters buildings over time.
Photo: The BCA has been headquartered in five St. Paul buildings over its 90-year existence. Here are four of them, from top left: the State Capitol Building (1927), 488 N. Wabasha (1945), 1246 University Avenue (1962), and 1430 Maryland Avenue (2003).​

On April 16, 1927, the Minnesota legislature created the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) under the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Attorney General. It fell under “an act relating to the prevention and control of crime, creating a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and providing measures for dealing with crime and criminal laws.” The BCA was housed in the State Capitol Building with Walter F. Rhinow as its first superintendent. Aside from Rhinow, the entire BCA consisted of five people: one assistant superintendent, two investigators and two clerical personnel. Let’s take a look back at a few more numbers that document the BCA’s history:

1935: The year BCA agents were given the power of arrest.

1: The number of crime lab chemists working at the BCA in 1943.

488: The street number of the building on Wabasha in St. Paul into which the BCA moved in 1945.

325: The aforementioned chemist’s monthly salary in 1947.

10: The maximum number of dollars BCA agents were allowed to spend on travel per month due to a 1961 funding shortage.

1246: The street number of the BCA’s new headquarters on University Avenue in St. Paul in 1962.

7: The number of field offices the BCA established in 1966 (they were in Duluth, Fergus Falls, Thief River Falls, Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud and Willmar).

1990: The year the BCA lab became the first in the nation to identify a suspect based solely on DNA.

300: The number of initial registrants in the Minnesota Sex Offender Registry when it was established in 1991.

40 million: The amount of money dedicated by the Minnesota legislature to fill gaps in criminal justice systems.

2002: The year the AMBER Alert program, which was established to send bulletins about child-abduction cases, was initiated in Minnesota.

1430: The street number of the current BCA headquarters on Maryland Avenue in St. Paul, where they moved in 2003.

428: The number of staff working at the BCA in 2017, composed of one superintendent, three deputy superintendents, 80 agents, 19 analysts, nine digital forensic examiners, 107 forensic scientists, 53 information services staff, 80 IT staff, 13 trainers and 63 support staff.

90: The number of years the Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension has been in existence. Happy birthday, BCA, and thank you for 90 years of helping to make Minnesota a safer place!